Sunday, October 12, 2014

Chicken Tamale Pie

I have loved tamales since I was a little kid.  For some reason, I always called them "Mollies".  This would always make my family laugh.  My mom didn't make homemade ones, but I loved eating the ones straight from a can.  Let's just say that seven year olds don't have a discriminating taste and leave it at that.  I still love them, but who has time to make fresh homemade tamales for dinner?  And, as an adult, I want something more than a canned tamale for dinner. So, here is a tasty version of a tamale and it's gluten-free too.  It's easy to make and delicious.

The recipe first came to my attention years ago in Cooking Light magazine (I'll include the link).  I tried it and loved it.  Since then, I've adapted the recipe a little and made it gluten-free for my husband.  It's really yummy and even though it doesn't look like a traditional tamale- it sure tastes like one.  Here's the one from Cooking Light:

Chicken Tamale Casserole from Cooking Light

Chicken Tamale Pie
For the Cornbread:
1 package gluten-free cornbread mix (I use Bob's Red Mill.  If you aren't concerned about gluten, I love using Jiffy Corn Bread Mix.)
1 small 4-ounce can of mild green chilies, rinsed and drained - omit if you don't like spicy!
1/4 cup shredded cheese
1 can creamed corn (14.8 ounces)
2 eggs (you can use egg substitute)
1/2 cup skim milk

* The gluten-free cornbread mixture will thicker than non-gf cornbread.

For the Topping (use below amounts if you are making a casserole dish or two pie plates, 1/2 it if you plan to make one pie plate and 9 muffins like I did):
2 cups shredded chicken (I cheat and use Rotisserie chicken- I'll use the rest of the chicken for another recipe tomorrow)
2 cans or 2 packages of gluten-free Red Enchilada Sauce
1 cup shredded Mexican Blend Cheese
1/2 package taco seasoning mix
1 cup chicken broth
3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Makes about 12 servings.  1 pie plate is about 6 servings.

Garnish Options: sour cream, salsa, diced tomatoes, cilantro, avocado.

Before you begin:  Decide how much casserole you'd like to make.  You can make it in a casserole dish or use two pie plates for larger crowds.  Rectangle or round- the choice is yours!  If you want to make a smaller amount, use half of the cornbread mix for the tamale pie and the other half to make cornbread muffins for another meal.  You'll also reduce the amount of shredded chicken to 1 cup, use half the amount of red enchilada sauce, 1/4 a package of taco seasoning, 1/2 cup chicken broth, and about 1/2 cup shredded cheese.  You can freeze the muffins for later or use them for you next meal.  That's what I did tonight.  I made one pie plate and 9 muffins.  

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Combine the cornbread mix, green chilies, 1/4 cup shredded cheese, creamed corn, eggs, and milk. 
  3. Spray a casserole dish OR two pie plates with cooking spray. OR make one pie plate and put the rest in muffin tins.  Pour mixture into your dish.  Bake cornbread for 25 minutes or until nicely browned.
  4. While cornbread is baking, put your shredded chicken in a skillet and top with taco seasoning mix and 1 cup chicken stock.  Let simmer.

5.   After removing cornbread from oven, pierce cornbread with a fork and pour red enchilada sauce over cornbread.
6.   Top with shredded chicken mixture and shredded cheese.
Pierce cornbread liberally before pouring on the red enchilada sauce.
Add the chicken, the top with cheese.
8.    Bake uncovered in 375 degree oven for about 10-15 minutes, or until cheese is melted.
9.    Remove from oven and let sit for about 10 minutes.  
10.  Slice and serve with garnishes of your choice.

Tomorrow, I'm using the leftover rotisserie chicken in a Tuscan Bean Soup and we'll have the cornbread muffins with our soup.  Check back with The Teacher Dish for the recipe.


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